3 Excuses that Keep You From Attaining Entrepreneurial Greatness

How often do you honestly believe you shoot yourself in the proverbial foot on a daily basis, by using excuses to justify why you can’t do this, or weren’t able to do that?

This phenomenon applies to all business owners, whether you have a great startup idea that you haven’t brought to fruition yet, or an established business that’s not performing the way you think it should. Perhaps irreversibly leading down a path that will soon lead to you having to close the doors?

Thinking about entrepreneurship
photo credit: Jacob Botter / Flickr

Almost everyone lets assumptions and pessimism get in the way of success.

High Failure Rates

Depending on which source you choose to believe, at least 8 out of every 10 businesses fail before they get to their 18 month anniversary. Thankfully, if they have the courage, most newbie entrepreneurs who crash and burn in their first venture learn enough to pull it off better the second time around (source).

In his controversial State of the Union interview last year, U.S. Senator Rand Paul publicly stated that the figure was closer to 90% (source).

Indeed, entrepreneurship is hard. Nobody says entrepreneurship is easy. There are so many obstacles you need to face.

Lack of Execution

Ideas are sh*t... execution is the game - Gary Vaynerchuk quote

Gary Vaynerchuk – the Founder/CEO of multi-million-dollar-companies, Wine Library and Vaynermedia (to name a couple) – says many times in his articles, videos, podcasts and keynotes that ideas are easy to obtain, but execution is the key factor of your success or failure.

Forget about the millions of people around the world who never take action on a great idea in the first place. There’s just no way to lock down numbers on such an intangible.

You might be surprised at the many ways you might (perhaps unknowingly) be limiting your success each and every day.

Here’s a list of 3 rather preposterous, unfounded, mostly fear-based reasons people fail to realize their entrepreneurial potential in life:

1. I don’t know how!

If you want to be a successful business owner, you have to realize that there’s a neat new tool out there that has all the answers you’re looking for. It’s called the “Internet” and if you open it up via a “Browser” there’s this fancy search tool called “Google.”

Pardon all the quotation marks…

I’m not trying to treat you like a fool. Lack of knowledge isn’t an excuse anymore. If you have the brain capacity, you could learn how to build a rival spaceship to Virgin Galactic and become the first civilian to land on the moon!

You don’t need a fancy college to teach you stuff anymore. Go to your local library if the Internet fails to turn up the info you need. Buy an ebook on Amazon. Befriend an expert in the areas you need to improve on.

2. I don’t know the right people!

Yes, yes: If you were Ashton Kutcher, you’d have all the resources you need for your new tech startup (or to save your failing one) and life would be so peachy.

“So and so’s successful cause they know all the right folks.”

Of course they do! It really is all about who you know in this day and age. A construction team can build a 7-Eleven in less than a week if they have all the raw materials they need. How long would it take a single man to accomplish that same feat?

Think that the most successful people on the planet were born with a silver spoon in their mouth?

Most were not, considering that the rags-to-riches idea of the American dream is stronger than ever nowadays…

Between 1982 and 2011, the number of the once-poor people on the Forbes 400 skyrocketed, from 40 to 68 percent. Obviously those who were born into wealth on that same list realized a massive decline in numbers from 60 to just 32 percent total.

What am I trying to tell you? Most of the richest people in the world were disadvantaged. They didn’t have daddy’s business contacts or an uncle to hand them the reins of a million dollar corporation right out of college. They had to go out and build a network themselves.

3. I don’t have the money!

Well of course you don’t. Not every entrepreneur goes from a 6 or 7 figure salary on Wall Street and decides to invest their immense savings into a great new business venture, with a seemingly limitless cushion to get them through the lean startup months or years.

Are you just gonna give up then?

Lack of funds is always a problem for the majority of businesses who aren’t on the Fortune 500 list. It’s also one of the most ridiculous reasons to let a good idea simmer too long, or to watch a promising business go down the tubes because it’s starving for a big cash influx.

Finding investors isn’t hard if you have something worthwhile to offer…

Angels are everywhere and eager to invest in great ideas: https://angel.co/

Venture Capitalists are a decent option, if you can’t find an angel or need more funds than they’re willing to part with: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/242702

If you have an existing business that needs money for growth and like so many others, the bank turned you down, you have to know what VC’s are looking for from you: http://www.inc.com/matthew-swyers/what-venture-capitalists-want-4-tips.html.

Maybe you’re misusing company funds that can be better used elsewhere: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/71318

Key Takeaway

Dear entrepreneur, “Excuses are like ______ (8 letter word)”. This phrase applies to all areas of life. If someone else can do it, so can you.

You can spend all or most of your time sitting around thinking of new reasons why you can’t get things done or rationalizing (and accepting) failure, or you can use that wasted energy to get a little creative: teach yourself new skills, network at events and through social media, find ways to save money, secure investors, or cut costs to prevent your business from going under.

Hustle, my friend, is the most important word for your success. Embrace it.

The choice is yours…